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[Bug 9215] Provide a Webcam example that is in accord with WCAG 2 or Defer to "HTML5: Techniques for providing useful text alternatives"

From: <bugzilla@wiggum.w3.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2010 03:11:30 +0000
To: public-html-a11y@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1Nw5Ny-0007yT-0N@wiggum.w3.org>

Ian 'Hixie' Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> changed:

           What    |Removed                     |Added
             Status|REOPENED                    |RESOLVED
         Resolution|                            |WONTFIX

--- Comment #14 from Ian 'Hixie' Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>  2010-03-29 03:11:29 ---
> alt="A WeatherCam rooftop view of Geneva, Switzerland. Scene updated every ten
> minutes."

I strongly disagree that this is suitable alt="" text. I think it's a caption,
and should be put in a title="" attribute, <figcaption> element, or equivalent.

Confusing captions and replacements is IMHO a huge mistake. WCAG 1 and 2 were
unable to make this distinction because HTML4 didn't support it (WCAG2 only
talks about "text alternatives", it doesn't say how to distinguish text
alternatives that are replacements from those that are merely captions). With
HTML5 we _can_ support it, and we should. Making such improvements is the only
way we can actually make progress. We simply can't afford to just stay stuck
with decade-old decisions: we have to learn from our past mistakes and make
things better.

Once we have replacement text and caption text clearly differentiated, we can
have user agents present images in suitable and accessible ways: either just
replacing the image wholesale when a complete replacement is available (the
ideal case, where the user never needs to know there was an image in the first
place), or letting the user know an important image is in the content and
telling the user the image's caption. This leads to a better user experience.

EDITOR'S RESPONSE: This is an Editor's Response to your comment. If you are
satisfied with this response, please change the state of this bug to CLOSED. If
you have additional information and would like the editor to reconsider, please
reopen this bug. If you would like to escalate the issue to the full HTML
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Status: Rejected
Change Description: no spec change
Rationale: The problem described in the bug description is not a bug. It's an
improvement over HTML4 and will actually improve the accessibility of content
by reducing the number of images that are called out to the user and making the
few that are called out be more clearly understandable.

Note that the suggestion in HTML5 is not that no "text alternative" be provided
— merely that the text alternative be semantically marked up correctly as a
caption (title="") and not as a replacement (alt=""). This does not contradict
WCAG2 advice, as WCAG2 (1.1.1) does not specify what attribute to use.

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Received on Monday, 29 March 2010 03:11:31 UTC

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